Dr. Scott Berthelette has received a Principal's Impact Course Award for his proposed undergraduate History course Turtle Island Speaks: What Geography, History, and Ecology Tells us about Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Histories of Eastern Ontario.
Turtle Island Speaks is a new upper-level seminar course that will privilege an Indigenous studies methodology of place-based experiential learning. It will be offered in the 2023-24 academic year.
As Dr. Berthelette explains:
Rather than relying exclusively on classroom learning and traditional pedagogical methods, this course seeks to examine more closely Indigenous histories and historical geographies by working in collaboration with Indigenous organizations, communities, and keepers of oral traditions, cultural insight, and traditional and ecological knowledge. This course is interdisciplinary drawing upon methodologies from Indigenous studies, ethnohistory, geography, environmental history, literary studies, and material culture studies. By bringing these methodologies together, this course seeks to bring a fresh and unique perspective to Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee histories of eastern Ontario.
Following a period of intensive, in-classroom learning to provide the necessary theoretical and historical frameworks, students will engage in place-based learning at sites of settlements, locations related to food sovereignty, and sites related to Indigenous conflict, trade, diplomacy, and treaty-making across Eastern Ontario.
Some of these sites will include: the Canadian Museum of History, where students will consult with curators and community members about Indigenous artefacts like wampum belts, treaty medals, calumets (peace pipes), and medicine bundles; the Queen's University Archives and the Jordan Rare Books and Special Collections, to consult published and manuscript maps of the Kingston/Ka'tarohkwi region; and Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory and Alderville First Nation, where students will have the opportunity to learn from Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe knowledge keepers.
The Principal's Impact Courses is a Queen's University initiative that financially supports the development of new courses that address the goals of Queen’s Strategy, including integrating teaching and research, enhancing inquiry-based learning, and strengthening local and global community connections.
Congratulations, Dr. Berthelette!